Most Japanese people do not exclusively identify themselves as adherents of a single religion; rather, they incorporate elements of various religions in a syncretic fashion known as Shinbutsu shūgō (神仏習合 amalgamation of kami and buddhas?). Shinbutsu Shūgō officially ended with the Shinto and Buddhism Separation Order of 1886, but continues in practice. Shinto and Japanese Buddhism are therefore best understood not as two completely separate and competing faiths, but rather as a single, rather complex religious system.

Japan grants full religious freedom, allowing minority religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism to be practiced. Figures that state 84% to 96% of Japanese adhere to Shinto and Buddhism are not based on self-identification but come primarily from birth records, following a longstanding practice of officially associating a family line with a local Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine. About 70 percent of Japanese profess no religious membership, according to Johnstone (1993:323), 84% of the Japanese claim no personal religion. In census questionnaires, less than 15 percent reported any formal religious affiliation by 2000. And according to Demerath (2001:138), 64% do not believe in God, and 55% do not believe in Buddha. According to Edwin Reischauer, and Marius Jansen, some 70 to 80 percent of the Japanese regularly tell pollsters they do not consider themselves believers in any religion. Japanese streets are decorated on Tanabata, Obon and Christmas.dgcglctgyddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd{{Delete{{Delete{{Delete{{Infobox{{Delete{{Navbox}}}}}}}}}}}}

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